ICE agent shot boss during performance discussion

LOS ANGELES Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:25pm EST

Related Video

Related Topics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An immigration agent shot his boss six times during a performance discussion in the agency's offices in a Los Angeles suburb and was shot dead by another colleague, authorities said on Friday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Ezequiel Garcia drew a gun and shot deputy special agent in charge Kevin Kozak six times during the Thursday afternoon altercation, Steven Martinez, assistant director of the Los Angeles field office of the FBI, told reporters.

A third agent, who has not been identified by authorities, then fired on Garcia, 45, killing him, Martinez said.

Kozak, 51, was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition on Friday.

"Mr. Kozak was counseling Mr. Garcia with regard to his performance," Martinez said. "We believe an escalation in that discussion lead Mr. Garcia to fire his weapon several times, injuring Mr. Kozak."

"After Mr. Garcia opened fire another agent working nearby intervened and fired his weapon to prevent additional rounds from being fired by Mr Garcia," Martinez said. "This resulted as you've heard in the death of Mr. Garcia."

Martinez said he was "not at liberty" to discuss why Garcia was being counseled by Kozak.

Speaking at the same press conference, ICE Special Agent in Charge Claude Arnold said Kozak was "alert and talking" at a Long Beach Hospital on Friday and was being visited by family and co-workers.

"This is the first time anything of this nature has occurred within ICE and we are doing everything possible to understand why it happened and ensure that it does not happen again," he said.

The shooting erupted during rush hour near downtown Los Angeles and prompted police to shut down streets and a major intersection for more than an hour.

Local television images showed an ambulance rushing the injured agent to a nearby hospital accompanied by a police escort as law enforcement agents ringed the building.

(Additional reporting by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Greg McCune)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (8)
zachb10 wrote:
Great…how are we suppose to set a example when our own upholders of the law resort to gun violence. Let teach everyone to resolve conflicts by shooting each other. I’m excited about the future.

Feb 17, 2012 5:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gall0wz wrote:
Our government is sloppy at everything now it seams.

Feb 17, 2012 6:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
GRRR wrote:
It seems Americans are sloppy with homonyms.

Feb 17, 2012 6:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.